|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Air Line, Short Line, King Ravine Trail, Chemin des Dames, Scar Trail, Scar Loop, Valley Way, Brookbank|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, September 12, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Arrived at Appalachia at 9 AM to find cars parked an extremely long distance (at least a half-mile) down the road - all the way to the blue Horton Center sign. Cars were also parked a long distance west of the trailhead as well. The situation at the end of the hike was no different. I don't know who is in charge of that trailhead, but they really need to build a much larger parking area for it - the present small lot is completely and totally inadequate. These lines were some of the longest I have seen at any trailhead ever.
As a side note, I checked out Randolph East at the end of the day, and it was much quieter - just a few cars parked on the side of the road. It's a good alternative to Appalachia on days like this. |
||Dry Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Only crossing on this route was the one of Snyder Brook at the top of Brookbank, and it was very easy - water levels are very low. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||No major blowdowns. Some brushy areas on Chemin des Dames. No sign for Brookbank at its upper junction with Fallsway - just a small 'Path' marker on the other side of Snyder Brook. |
||As I've said before, don't take a dog past Mossy Fall into King Ravine. All the trails in King Ravine are very dog-unfriendly. However, the other trails that we hiked are fine for dogs, and we saw several on those trails. |
||Just a few buzzing insects in a few different places. They were not bothersome. |
|Lost and Found:
||What a beautiful day for this hike! Comfortable temperatures, little wind, and bluebird skies.|
Hiked the standard route up into King Ravine - Air Line, Short Line, KRT to the upper floor of the ravine. Everything I've said about that in previous trip reports still applies. Chemin des Dames, however, was fun, and was in fact the whole point of this hike (we're working on our T25s). Much of the lower half of the trail is climbing up a steep, open talus field - it reminded me a little bit of the Fan in Huntington Ravine (where I was last weekend). A few harder scrambles in the lower part, but nothing that couldn't be done after a little thought. The middle and upper parts are mostly a very steep, narrow footpath through scrub. There were lots of steep rocks and scrambling required in this section, however there were always enough handholds and footholds so it wasn't too bad. Just before the junction with Air Line, there's a spot where it looks like the trail turns left and climbs up a gravelly section, however that's not actually the trail - the actual trail continues straight through a brushy section and then reaches the junction with Air Line in maybe 100 feet.
From the junction of Air Line and Chemin des Dames, we could see the flags on both Madison and Adams. Wanting to redline a couple more trails, we headed down Air Line until the junction with Scar Trail, and then headed down that. There's such a major difference between heavily used trails (like Air Line and Valley Way) that are rough, rocky, and eroded, and lesser-used RMC trails like Scar Trail that have better, softer footing and much fewer rocks. We went down to the lower junction with Scar Loop, then up Scar Loop, and then back down Scar Trail, to make sure we redlined the entirety of both trails. Scar Loop is steep at the beginning, but nice - Durand Scar is a nice outlook, and there's another viewpoint to Madison a little above it. We then hopped back on Valley Way and took that most of the way back down, and then used Brookbank for the last part since 1) it's more scenic and 2) it brought us out onto Route 2 a little bit closer to our cars.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.